Pot + Bears = Workers’ Compensation?

Sometimes we come across approved claims too crazy to make up. Like when the employee decides to mix marijuana use with entering the home of 500 pound animals. You read that right. Needless to say, smoking pot before feeding a group of bears is not commonly accepted as a smart decision.

A Montana man was mauled while feeding the grizzly bears at a tourist attraction. Seems pretty cut and dry, right? It gets much more complicated from here.

First, the park owner claimed that Hopkins was a volunteer that he occasionally gave money to. Volunteering your time to a business and being paid for it? Sounds like the Webster definition of a “job” to me. The owner also alleged that he told Hopkins not to feed the bears that day, as their food was being tapered for hibernation.

Finally, and it bears repeating (pun totally intended), the court ruled that he smoked marijuana before entering the enclosure. Just to calm the nerves?

Yet, although the court (correctly) stated that smoking before working with grizzly bears “was ill-advised to say the least and mind-bogglingly stupid to say the most,” there was no evidence proving the level of impairment and approved the payment of $65,000 in medical bills.

Might have been worth drug testing the bear as well. Seems like it was the one with the munchies.

Source: Oregon Live


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